Saturday, April 30, 2016

Duchess of Devonshire...chicken lover and ultimate farmer

How could you not love a woman who tends a flock of chickens in a lovely wool suit and stockings. I have a picture of her on my ipad and in Pinterest and always smile when I see it. Isn't she precious.

And again in a red gown by Balmain. Doesn't she look like fun.

I am going to put her books on my 'books to get' list. I've read excerpts and they sound fantastic.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Apple blossoms. Just apple blossoms.

Apple blossoms always remind me of my grandmothers apple trees. I was an unusual child. I would stand in her gardens for hours looking at flowers. And veggies. And fruit. I loved the apple blossoms as much as any flower in the gardens. I still do. I wonder if that is how I ended up with nine apple trees? I took these pictures of some pretty blooms today. The really pink one is my Pink Lady Apple tree. They look a lot like crabapple flowers don't they. I can't wait to see the apples.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cranberry Cotoneaster

One day, about seven years ago, I was at Marigold Nursery. Over by the greenhouse, was a large potted cotoneaster. It was mature and had the largest berries I'd ever seen in a cotoneaster. The label said Cranberry Cotoneaster. I would have loved to just buy it, but I didn't have the $75.00. There were a few berries lying on the surface of the soil. I picked up two and popped them in my pocket. When I got home I planted them in pots of soil and waited. Eventually they came up and I ended up with three plants. I had pulled some cotoneaster baby seedlings of a regular cotoneaster years before and ended up with a large flowering and berrying plant within a few years. I had no idea how much slower this one would be. It has reached about 2x3' this year. Today I noticed, for the first time, I have little flower buds and I'm very excited at the prospect of my first berries this year. I have my fingers crossed.

Update: There are berries. I will take some pictures when they get larger.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reining in the raspberries. Pulling rogue canes.

This is the raspberry bed completely out of control.
And below, after a lot of scratches and sweating, it is under control.
I spent an hour in the unseasonably hot sun pulling raspberry canes that were growing outside of the new boundaries made by the framework. What I discovered really quickly is that if you pull small canes, they break off and, of course, will just grow right back. If you wait until they are a foot or more tall and the stems have dark marks where the prickles will be, they not only pull out, but they come with the root and will pull much of the running root as well. Good to know, as I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this a couple times a least.

Another raspberry lesson

So, today I learned something new. When removing and pulling hundreds of raspberry canes, it is a good idea to wear long sleeves and long pants. I received a lot of scratches today and that normally doesn't slow me down one bit. It was about nine hours ago that I was pulling canes and this is my arm tonight. It is inflamed, puffy and feels like someone is drizzling salt water on the scratches. I don't know if I have a mild allergy or if this is a normal reaction to a plant that is a known irritant. Regardless, I will wear long sleeves next time!!



Monday, April 18, 2016

Raspberry Frames finally in place

In this photo the raspberry supports are embedded in the ground two feet. They are about six feet tall now. I just feel the berries have gone crazy so they need the taller framework. The rows are 17' long. I didn't have enough wire, so they only have two of the eight in place. I will pick up more tomorrow.
This is how we anchored the ends of the wire. Which is clothesline by the way.
More to come...stay tuned.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

The rhododendron and the Kwanzan Cherry are outstanding

I am just going to let the pictures tell the story. I dead-head this 37 year old Rhodo every year. It pays off every spring!! We moved into this house in December 1979. As soon as Spring hit in 1980 I planted trees and the gardens. Not a lot remains of the original gardens, but this rhododendron is still here and I love it.




This old Kwanzan Cherry tree is about 20 feet tall and about 25+ feet across. I am guessing, but that is about right. Allan and I did a pruning of this large cherry this winter. We took out about 25%. Mostly crossed, damaged or rogue branches.


It is an 'amazing flowery' spring. I've never seen it like this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What has happened to the raspberry patch!!

These are the little bare root raspberries last March.

Last March Allan and I planted two rows of Tulameen Raspberries. They were little six inch sticks with tiny bare roots. We actually got a small crop of berries last year. That seemed bizarre to us. This year we have an unbelievable situation on our hands. Check out the number of runners we have. What has us gob-smacked is how densely they have come up. Wow!!


Coming up soon. A post about the new raspberry supports.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pressure washer...the best money we've ever spent

I thought the pressure washer was a complete waste of money. I really did. A man and another toy. I was wrong. It is the coolest tool!! Allan was able to do a complete Spring cleanup in a couple days. Once he washed the deck, he wanted to paint it, it looks wonderful.



Doesn't it look wonderful!?

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Mountains of wood chips and manure

Yet again I tracked down a wood chipper working in the neighbourhood and they were good enough to dump the load of chips in our driveway. They are beautiful finely ground chips. Allan and I spread the whole pile around the yards today, focussing on the areas that had turned to mud. It was odd actually. It looked like a small load but it just seemed to expand to this!! It was my first really heavy day in the yard this year. I am tired and sore, but wow, so thankful for a day like this, and a body that lets me work this way.

The chips being dumped in mounds, and then I, the raker, spread them where they need to go.

I have never had a blister forming like this before. It's about 2.5" long. And another little one on my finger. Ahhhh, that is a good days work.